January 31, 2008

South Dakota's Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee has rejected a bill that would have allowed up to $US1 million in state funds being loaned for the construction of a horse slaughter plant.

The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) commended the committee's rejection of the bill, which it opposed in testimony to the committee.

"In light of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (AHSPA), a hugely popular bill to ban horse slaughter that is currently before the US Congress, it would be fiscally foolhardy for South Dakota to enter into such a venture," said Chris Heyde, AWI's deputy director of government and legal affairs.

"It would also be completely out of step with American values, which have resulted in the closure of all domestic horse slaughter plants."

Some members of the committee had objected to "outside interference" from concerned citizens calling from other states, but Heyde said residents of other states had a right to care whether South Dakota establishes such a facility, Heyde explained.

Most horses slaughtered at such a plant would have come from other states, he said.